Marla Westbrook » Mom, Runner, Burleson/Fort Worth, Texas Photographer

Fit Friday – An Exciting New Adventure

A couple of months ago, I got a really nice comment here on the blog from the editor of a local magazine called Burleson Life. She said she really liked my blog and asked if I would be interested in writing a monthly column for the magazine. I thought, “Me?!?! Is she serious?” I’m definitely not a writer, and I worried that maybe once I wrote something and she read it, she might change her mind, lol. She specifically mentioned that they didn’t have a column on fitness and I thought, I can do that! Not as an expert, of course, because I’m not one, but just as a mom who found a way to put fitness back on her priority list and is so happy she did. Of course, I was also excited that I’d get to submit my own pics and drug my friend Erica out to the high school track (those are her pretty legs!) to be my first model.

My first column arrived in the mail yesterday and I nearly squealed when I saw it! Thanks to everyone who commented on FB and sent me texts of support, it was fun to see my words and pictures in print and to know that all my neighbors saw them, too.  I thought I’d share what I wrote here for my friends who don’t live in our little town.

Taking the First Step

I’m a wife and mom of 4, and like many women, at the beginning of every year, I’d make a resolution to get in shape and lose weight. By Spring, I’d find myself knee-deep in sports and school projects and my resolutions would be lost somewhere under the pile of field trip permission slips and report cards. Sound familiar?

In 2012, I kept it simple and made the goal just to move my body, in some way, every day. I started off easy and free by walking. I strapped on my trusty iPhone, loaded with an app that would track my mileage and a playlist of tunes, and off I went. Walking led to jogging; jogging led to running and a few months and miles later I found myself standing at the starting line of a half marathon. I’m married to an avid runner, but never aspired to become one, in fact, I would go so far as to say I hated running. Seriously, ask anyone who knows me and they’ll agree, even my high school volleyball coach still shakes her head when I see her at races. But there is nothing that compares to the feeling of crossing the finish line, accepting that shiny medal, and knowing that you just accomplished something amazing. A little bit of self-confidence and pride can go a long way, and honestly, that’s what hooked me on running.

The questions I get from friends who have been following my unlikely journey usually start with “How…?” How did you start? How can I start? How crazy do you have to be to run a marathon? OK, strike that last one, you get where I’m going.

Well, first and most importantly, you have to decide on your goals. Would you like to walk or run a 5K? Complete a fitness boot camp? Or maybe you simply wish that you could wear your favorite blue jeans and breathe at the same time. Set easily attainable short-term goals and some lofty, long-term ones, too, but remember to start low and go slow. Don’t decide that running 6 miles on the treadmill is a good first workout. You may never see day 2. Give your body a chance to ease into whatever exercise regime you choose. This is probably also a good time to suggest consulting your doctor before you start. I promise he’ll be happy that the reason you’ve made an appointment is to discuss getting fit.

Take advantage of technology. Turn your smart phone into your training partner with apps like Couch to 5K, RunKeeper, Map My Run, My Fitness Pal, and Lose It!, just to name a few. It’s incredibly satisfying and motivating to see those miles and workouts add up. And it’s pretty fun to share your mileage on Facebook too, I’m just saying.

There are plenty of races and fitness activities happening in the metroplex on any given weekend, especially this time of year, find one and register the whole family. Most races have fun-runs and are stroller-friendly, so even little ones can participate. Your kids will get the same charge out of crossing the finish line that you do, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Don’t wait until January rolls back around to resolve to get fit, lace up those tennis shoes, grab a friend and your smart phone and start today!

Hehe, so that’s it. My 550 words about the start of my journey back into fitness. There’s also a little blurb about using social media (the orange box) and a little bit about me at the bottom, along with my new head shots, taken by the fabulous Kara May. I’m already hard at work on July’s column and am looking forward to the challenge of coming up with fun things to write about each month.

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